Does Apple ban Bitcoin because it’s looking to develop Payment Services?
Yesterday the WSJ discussed Apple’s (AAPL) deeper push into the mobile payments world as it lays the groundwork for an expanded mobile payment service leveraging the base of iPhone and iPad uses that have credit cards on file through the iTunes store. The iTunes store had 575 million registered users as of last year.
This is not the first hint of Apple’s interest in payments as Apple has been driving payment technologies in its own retail stores which has included the use of its iBeacon devices which are Bluetooth based and its wallet app, Passbook. Earlier this month surfaced a patent Apple applied for covering “method to send payment data through various air interfaces without compromising user data”
Launching a payment service would put Apple into competition with eBay’s (EBAY) Paypal unit, Google’s (GOOG) attempts and startups like Square.
Where does this leave Apple banning Bitcoin?
It doesn’t take a genius to see that Bitcoin is disruptive towards these goals and Apple has repeatedly banned any apps that include Bitcoin. From TechCrunch, Apple has quoted section 22.1 of Apple’s App Store review guidelines when rejecting Bitcoin apps. The rule states that “apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users. It is the developer’s obligation to understand and conform to all local laws.” While Bitcoin is not illegal, Apple is not required to accept Bitcoin since it is not legally recognized by governments as a currency and the obvious reason it wouldn’t is if it conflicts with its future plans.